Your Guide to Contactless Credit Cards

If you’re like most consumers, you’ve noticed that your debit or credit card now includes a new function: you can use it with a contactless payment option. According to the experts at Blackhawk Bank, contactless payments are overtaking cash in popularity. While contactless payment has been around for years, many people are unaware of what a contactless debit card is or how it functions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding contactless cards and transactions, so you’ll be better informed next time you use your card.

Credit Cards

What Is a Contactless Debit Card?

A contactless debit card is a payment card that uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to make secure payments. They’re equipped with an antenna and a microchip that stores account information. When you tap your card against a contactless reader, the reader emits a radio signal that activates the microchip and transmits your account information wirelessly.

Contactless cards offer a convenient way to pay for everyday purchases and can be used anywhere that accepts contactless payments. Many major banks and credit card issuers now offer contactless debit cards, and more retailers are also beginning to accept them.

How Do I Use a Contactless Card?


Using a contactless debit card is easy – just tap your card against a contactless reader at the point of sale. No need to swipe or insert your card and no signature is required. Contactless payments are typically faster than traditional credit or debit card payments, so you can be on your way in no time.

Are Contactless Cards Safe?

Yes, contactless cards are even more secure than traditional credit or debit cards, as they create a one-time code for each transaction that takes place. Your debit card number is not stored with the merchant, making it less likely that your number will end up in the wrong hands.

Can Someone Else Use My Contactless Credit Card?

If by chance your debit card is stolen, the thief could potentially make purchases on your debit card with contactless payments. However, some folks worry about their card accidentally being picked up by a terminal, but the likelihood of this happening is slim. Your contactless debit card would need to be within 1-2 inches of the terminal to be picked up, so it is unlikely that you would accidentally pay for someone’s purchase.

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How Do I Know Where I Can Use a Contactless Card?


If you’re not sure whether a merchant accepts contactless payments, look for the contactless payment symbol at the point of sale. This symbol looks like four curved lines (wireless waves) emanating from a single point in the center. When you see this symbol, you can use your card to make a contactless payment.

The Benefits of Contactless Cards in the Future

As more consumers and retailers adopt contactless payments, we can expect to see even more benefits. In addition to the convenience and speed of contactless payments, this technology can also help reduce fraud and provide a more secure way to pay. As we move towards a cashless society, contactless cards will become even more popular and commonplace.

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